Men's Hoops Closes Homestand Against NJIT
Nov. 16, 2011
AMHERST, Mass. - After back-to-back wins, the UMass men's basketball team will look to end its season-opening three-game homestand perfect on Thursday night when the Minutemen (2-0) host NJIT in a 7 p.m. tip at the Mullins Center.
The game can be heard on the UMass Sports Network on 100.9 FM WRNX in Western Mass. and 830 AM WCRN in Central Mass., 1510 AM The Zone in Eastern Mass., and 95.9 AM WATD on Boston's South Shore. "Voice of the Minutemen" Josh Maurer and Tim Kenney will call the action. Live streaming video, audio and Gametracker will be available on UMassAthletics.com.
The Minutemen opened the season on Nov. 11 with a 85-67 victory over Elon in just the second game in the last 18 years at the historic Curry Hicks Cage, UMass' home from 1932-1993. On Monday, UMass improved to 2-0 with a 83-67 win over Northeastern at the Mullins Center.
NJIT is 1-1 on the season. After a season-opening loss at Manhattan (62-48), the Highlanders defeated Penn State Abington on Monday (113-61).
The UMass Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is conducting a toy drive at Thursday's game. All are encouraged to bring new, unwrapped toys for children through age 18 inside the entrances of the Mullins Center to benefit Shriners Hospital for Children in Springfield, Mass.
Toys will also be accepted at the Nov. 30 game vs. Towson, as well as hockey games on Nov. 18 and Dec. 2.
This is the first-ever meeting between the Minutemen and Highlanders in men's basketball.
The UMass women's basketball team played at NJIT on on Dec. 20, 2009. The Minutewomen won, 70-59.
NJIT is the school that the UMass women's lacrosse team defeated in the 1982 National Championship game.
14 FEET OF MCCARTHY
Brothers will be on opposite sides in this game as UMass redshirt-freshman center Andrew McCarthy's older brother, Sean, is a junior center for NJIT. The Scituate, Mass. natives will be hard to miss as Andrew comes in at 7-1, 260 pounds and the elder McCarthy runs 6-10, 265 pounds.
Andrew has played one minute in each of the Minutemen's two games this season. He logged his first shot attempt in the win over Northeastern on Monday.
Andrew is the third seven-footer in UMass program history, joining `90s reserve Jeff Meyer and recent alum Luke Bonner, who is playing professionally in Lithuania.
Sean has seen action in both NJIT games this season, averaging 3.5 minutes and 1.0 rebounds.
He played in 17 games in 2010-11 for the Highlanders, averaging 2.1 points and 2.9 rebounds. He set a program record with nine blocks against Fairleigh Dickinson in just 20 minutes. He scored a career-high 15 points against South Dakota.
MINUTEMEN LEASH THE HUSKIES
Redshirt sophomore Chaz Williams recorded his first double-double, tying career-highs with 20 points and 10 assists to lead UMass (2-0) to a 83-67 victory over Northeastern (1-1) on Monday night at the Mullins Center. Terrell Vinson (14) and Sampson Carter (12) each reached double-figures for the second game in a row.
A 3-pointer by NU's Joel Smith pulled the Huskies within six, 57-51 with 10:28 to go, but Williams took over for the Minutemen over a two-minute stretch, feeding Freddie Riley on the break for a lay-up, and then scoring on back-to-back lay-ups of his own to make it 65-51 lead with 7:38 left.
The Minutemen took control of the game early in the first half when they went on a 14-0 run over 5:08, started by a Sean Carter dunk and capped off with a pretty alley-oop from Javorn Farrell to Maxie Esho to make it a 19-4 game with 11:14 left in the half.
SEASON-OPENING WIN AT THE CAGE
Playing just its second game in 18 years at the historic Curry Hicks Cage, UMass (1-0) used a 21-4 run early in the second half to erase a four-point halftime deficit and cruise to a 85-67 victory over Elon (0-1) on Friday night. Sophomore transfer Chaz Williams led the way with 18 points and eight assists. Juniors Sampson Carter (17), Terrell Vinson (17) and Javorn Farrell (13) rounded out UMass' four double-digit scorers.
The Minutemen used a new running and pressing style and a raucous Cage crowd to force 25 Elon turnovers, scoring 32 points off those turnovers. Jesse Morgan led the charge on defense with a career-high five steals.
In his first game in a UMass uniform, Williams, a transfer from Hofstra, was the catalyst all night for the Minutemen, grabbing six rebounds and coming up with 3 steals to go with his 18 points and eight assists.
Vinson recorded the fourth double-double of his career, leading all players with 11 rebounds.
GOOD AS ADVERTISED
Redshirt sophomore point guard Chaz Williams has been given the reponsibility of quarterbacking the Minutemen's new up-tempo offense and the tranfer from Hofstra lived up to the billing, averaging 19 points and nine assists in the first two games.
Williams recorded the first double-double of his career in Monday's win over Northeastern, tying career-highs with 20 points and 10 assists. He spurred a key UMass run in the second half with an assist on a fastbreak followed immediately by a pair of lay-ups of his own on the break.
Williams, in his first game in a UMass uniform in the win over Elon, led all scorers with 18 points to go with a game-high eight assists, six rebounds and three steals in 32 minutes.
BRINGING THE PRESSURE
To go with the new up-tempo offense, Derek Kellogg has the Minutemen pressing and trapping more on defense in 2011-12. The new attacking defensive style has worked extremely well thus far as the Minutemen have forced a total of 46 turnovers in two games and scored 58 points off those take-aways.
On Monday in the win vs. Northeastern, UMass forced 21 turnovers and scored 26 points off turnovers. Sampson Carter led the defense with three steals.
The Minutemen held the Huskies to just 38 percent shooting in the game, including a 9.1 percent mark from behind the arc.
In the opener vs. Elon, UMass forced 25 Phoenix turnovers and scoring 34 points off those turnovers, including 12 fast-break points. Jesse Morgan led the defensive charge with a career-high five steals in 17 minutes. UMass finished with 14 steals total.
The Minutemen held the Phoenix to 34.4 percent shooting, including 27.3 percent in the second half.
Through two games, UMass has shot .474 from the floor after posting a .401 shooting percentage a season ago. Much of the improvement can be attributed to the new up-tempo, fastbreaking offense that Derek Kellogg has implemented this season. Taking advantage of the long athletic players on his roster, Kellogg's offense has resulted in higher percentage shots in transition.
UMass has received strong shooting performances from those playing the most minutes. Chaz Williams and Terrell Vinson, the Minutemen's minutes-played leaders at 33.0 per game, are shooting 54 and 55 percent from the field, respectively.
Sampson Carter has been the top sharpshooter this season. The versatile wing player has posted a 69 percent mark from the floor and is 3-of-4 from 3-point range while averaging 14.5 points in 24.5 minutes per game.
LALANNE TAKES PRESEASON A-10 HONOR
The Atlantic 10 Conference announced its preseason awards at its annual men's basketball media day in Brooklyn on Oct. 13 with UMass freshman Cady Lalanne being named to the All-Rookie Team. The forward from Orlando, Fla. is the first Minuteman named All-Rookie since Freddie Riley and Terrell Vinson in 2009.
Joining Lalanne on the All-Rookie Team are Dezmine Wells (Xavier), Jerrell Wright (La Salle), Justin Martin (Xavier), Alonzo Nelson-Odada (Richmond) and Anthony Lee (Temple).
Lalanne joins the Minutemen following becoming eligible per NCAA rules after attending UMass as a student in 20010-11. The 6-8 bigman played his high school ball at Oak Ridge in Orlando, Fla. and his AAU basketball with the Florida Rams.
UMASS BASKETBALL AIRS IN BOSTON
Nelligan Sports Marketing has reached an agreement with WBIN-TV that will allow UMass fans in the greater Boston area to watch approximately a dozen live broadcasts of UMass games, including football, hockey, men's and women's basketball, and lacrosse throughout the 2011-12 season beginning in November. The games will be produced by the UMass Sports Network.
WBIN-TV, the only locally owned and operated TV station in the Boston/Manchester market, reaches all major cable and satellite outlets in the greater Boston area. The UMass schedule on WBIN began on November 5 when the UMass hockey team beat No. 1 Boston College at the Mullins Center. UMass basketball's Nov. 14 Northeastern game also aired on WBIN.
"We're truly excited to have reached an agreement with WBIN" said Pam Batalis, General Manager for Nelligan Sports. "In addition to providing a platform to showcase UMass Athletics, this partnership will increase the exposure and value to our current and future corporate partners by providing an avenue to reach University alumni and college sports fans located within WBIN's footprint."
UMASS SIGNS FLORIDA CENTER BERGANTINO
UMass men's basketball head coach Derek Kellogg, on the eve of the Minutemen's season opener, announced on Thursday the signing of 6-9 center Tyler Bergantino of Springhill, Fla. to a National Letter of Intent. The talented big man, now a senior at Nature Coast Technical High School in Brooksville, Fla., will join the Minutemen for the 2012-13 season.
"Tyler exemplifies exactly the type of person and player we want at UMass," Kellogg said. "He is an extremely high-character young man and plays the game at a high level at both ends of the floor. My staff, the team, the UMass community and I are all very excited to have Tyler joining the UMass basketball family."
At 6-9, 240 lbs., Bergantino is a physical force inside and possesses rapidly improving skill and touch around the basket. He enters his senior year at Nature Coast the school's all-time leading scorer with 1,150 career points. Bergantino is coming off a junior campaign in which he led all of Hernando County with averages of 17.9 points, 12.5 rebounds and 4.8 blocked shots. That followed up a sophomore season in 2009-10 in which he posted averages of 14.5 points, 10.9 rebounds and 5.2 blocks.
UMASS LED BY ONE OF ITS OWN
Derek Kellogg, in his fourth season, is the first UMass alum to serve as the head coach of his alma mater since Tom McLaughlin, who coached the Minutemen from 1981-83. Kellogg graduated from UMass in 1995 where he was an All-Atlantic 10 selection in 1995. McLaughlin graduated from UMass in 1973 where he was one of three future head coaches on the team. He was joined by former Boston College head coach Al Skinner and current Louisville coach Rick Pitino.
Kellogg is not the only current head coach from the UMass rosters in the mid-90s as Tony Barbee is in his second year as the head coach at Auburn. In his first season with the Tigers, Barbee's squad went 11-20 overall and 4-12 in the SEC after taking UTEP to the NCAA Tournament the previous season. Alum Harper Williams was named to Barbee's staff this summer.
Prior to McLaughlin, the last UMass alum to lead his alma mater was Lorin Ball (Class of 1921), who coached the team from 1945-52.
THANKSGIVING IN THE BAHAMAS
UMass will play three games over Thanksgiving weekend at the Battle 4 Atlantis at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas. Touted as the richest early-season tournament ever, the Battle 4 Atlantis field includes National Champion Connecticut and Sweet Sixteen team from last season Florida State, who the Minutemen will face in the opening round on Thanksgiving Day at 4:30 p.m.
UMass will face either Harvard or Utah in the second round. The other first round matchups are UCF vs. College of Charleston and UConn vs. UNC-Asheville.
All 12 games of the tournament on Nov. 24-26 will be televised. VERSUS and HDNet will be carrying the game, including all three UMass contests. VERSUS will air the 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. games each day, this includes UMass' opening round game against Florida State. HDNet will air the 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. games each day.
All games in the Battle 4 Atlantis, including UMass' three games, will be played at the 4,000-seat Imperial Arena at the Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas. The half-million dollar temporary stadium boasts state-of-the-art regulation facilities at the epicenter of the world's largest open-air marine habitat complete with lavish guest accommodations, restaurants, bars, spa, lounges, waterslides and the largest casino in the Bahamas.
FOLLOW THE TEAM ONLINE
Looking for all the latest news on the Minutemen and Coach Kellogg? There are several ways to keep tabs on all of the updates on the squad.
Your first and Number 1 source is UMassAthletics.com. The official website of the UMass teams features news, stats, profiles, videos, photos, auctions, live audio, live video and so much more. Visit every day when you get home for a complete recap story, box score, video highlights, photo gallery and postgame press conference from every game.
Our daily blog "Just Take A Minute" has all the latest news from the media along with special information. Its updated several times each day.
Follow the teams and Coach Kellogg on Twitter. Get the news instantly for all Minuteman and Minutewoman teams by following @UMassAthletics. For the latest on the basketball team and Coach, follow him at @CoachKellogg.
The UMass Facebook page is very active, become a fan today at Facebook.com/UMassAthletics. You can also follow Coach Kellogg on his Facebook.com/CoachKellogg account.
Also, UMass has a very comprehensive YouTube page with video highlights, features, interviews and press conferences. Visit today at YouTube.com/UMassAthletics.
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